Festival of achievement - work with looked after children in Warwickshire

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Festival of achievement - work with looked after children

Warwickshire Libraries participated in the county's first all-day event to celebrate the achievements of looked after children. The event was held at Dunchurch Park Conference Centre on Saturday 19 April 2008 with invitations extended to 450 children and young people.

Crucially the festival happened because of consultation with the young people themselves as well as from a steering group of staff from across council directorates including the library's Switched on to Reading Co-ordinator. Switched on was the library's Paul Hamlyn Foundation-funded project to raise awareness and increase use of library services by looked after children and foster families.

At the festival the library service had a stand with information and a goody bag for each participant. Some 100 of these were claimed and positive comments were made about the library sevice and reading in particular. The project also enabled local rap poet Dreadlockalien to attend. He performed poetry and encouraged participants to write their own. He worked tirelessly through the event, reaching young people who would not normally see themselves as having an interest in poetry.


Benefits

For the library service this was the culmination of fruitful partnerships across the council with other agencies working with foster families and also enabled links with families established during the project to be strengthened.

Looked after children are a key target audience for NYR in Warwickshire. Personal invitations have already been mailed to every looked after child in the 5-12 age group giving free admission to Team Read events.

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